a.n. Hello again! This one's been sitting in my folder for a while cos I couldn't think of where it could go but I recently finished it. So, yeah. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: Roses are green, violets are red, I am colour-blind and bad at poetry. And I don't own Doctor who.
"And a last time." River said sadly, knowing that the Doctor would never hear her.
She slowly closed the door to her cell, trying to be quiet so as not to wake anyone up. She then promptly turned to her sink and retched. This had been one of the most trying, stressful and depressing trips she had ever had with the Doctor. Everything was usually wonderful, but...
The Silence. They were there. Her childhood fear. Her worst nightmare, quite literally. She still couldn't remember what they looked like. In a way that was worse. People weren't afraid of the darkness, they were afraid of the possibilities of what might be inside it.
River blinked her eyes heavily and realised she was crying, the tears burning a trail down her face.
'We haven't.' The Doctor's words echoed through her head. 'Trust you... seriously?' Oh God, it hurt. She knew he wouldn't trust her one day, but for him to be so cold about it, to be so ignorant of how much he meant to her, what she would mean to him, hurt her more than she had ever imagined.
The prison was cold, chilling her to the bone but she didn't care. River moved to her bed, sitting with her back against the wall, the grainy concrete crumbling a little, and curled up with her diary and a pen, trying to document the events she had just been through. In her experience it was best to do this as soon as possible after the event. 'He didn't trust me.' She wrote, then shook herself and crossed it out. Though this was her diary it wasn't meant to be somewhere for her to record her feelings.
'First we were called to Utah.' River wrote. 'Me and mum and dad, though they didn't know it yet. It was Lake Silencio. Again.' She took a shuddering breath, 'I had to pretend that he had actually died, even though I know what happened. I wish he hadn't invited me. It was bad enough once. I so wanted to tell mum the truth; she was a mess. But I couldn't. Not now. It would cause to many questions.'
'After that the younger Doctor showed up, he took us to 1969. Year of the moon. We only went because of what older him told us, but we couldn't tell him.' Now she could hardly write. 'I tried to make him go but he didn't trust me.' A tear hit the page and rolled over the words making the ink run. 'he didn't trust me.'
River lost track of time. Writing for hours, describing the scenes in detail, sketching what she could remember, throwing herself into the writing. It was a good way of coping, she immersed herself in the documentation of the events, not caring about what she wrote, only that it was accurate. Making it a story, nothing more. She would have to think of a name for the incident as well. It had to be enough for him to recognise but couldn't refer to the time or location. She'd have to settle for 'America'. It was broad enough not to give anything away.
The worst thing about this particular adventure was that she had done it all before. Been to all of those places before, but couldn't say anything about it to the Doctor or her parents because they hadn't, at least not yet.
The orphanage. River shivered. She didn't have many coherent memories of the place due to the Silence, but the impressions remained, in her nightmares and the dark corners of her mind. A frightened child crying in the night.
"River?" A familiar voice asked, making her jump and look up.
"Doctor." She said, standing. "Where are we now?"
He walked over to her cell door, his eyes wide and youthful, never leaving her face, before he bent down and picked up a leather sheaf. "I dropped my psychic paper." He said. "What's wrong?"
River realised that she must look a state for him to have to ask. "Spoilers." She said.
"River," He said with a sigh, putting one hand on the bars, the cold metal burning at his skin, "I know I don't know you yet, but that doesn't mean I like seeing you like this." It was true. Her hair was a mess, there were definite signs of tear tracks on her face and her usual façade of bravado and flirtation was gone. It didn't take a genius to tell that this woman was in pain. He had a horrible feeling he was the cause of it.
"You know I can't tell you." Oh God, how she wanted to. How she wanted him to understand why this had affected her so badly, and hold her and make her feel better. But he couldn't. "You can't understand yet."
"When will I?"
River bit her lip. "Remember this moment... after Berlin." She hated that time. Not in the way she hated America, because in America there was an excuse. She wasn't in control. She was a child. In Berlin though, there was nothing. She had killed the Doctor. "Now go."
Against his every instinct, the Doctor returned to his TARDIS, looking back at River Song once with eyes filled with sadness, pity and a little... longing? "I'll see you soon?"
River smiled. "I hope so."
He returned the smile tentatively, nodded and closed the door behind him, the TARDIS fading out of existence.
The Time Lady sighed and sat on her bed, watching the rain. She found it soothing, and even after watching it for as long as she had been in Stormcage, she never got bored of it.
"Please God make me stone."
The words surprised River. Had she whispered them? There was no one else around, so it must have been her. She couldn't remember moving her mouth to say them though, nor consciously making any decision to say them. Yet she had heard them, or thought she had. I must be going insane, she thought, then laughed a little. It's a little late for that now.
River didn't know how long she was watching the rain for. Hours, maybe even days. Stormcage didn't orbit a sun, it orbited an ice planet which was uninhabited. Therefore there were no days or nights other than those they they followed with watches and other clocks. It had been terraformed to make it warm enough for habitation, but only just. Some prisoners claimed that the terraforming story was a lie and that they wanted the prisoners to die off. River didn't think so, but it was cold enough to fool the others.
She had no idea how he did it. She looked away from the window and there he was, standing outside her cell, watching her for who knew how long. Like a statue. "Hello sweetie." She said softly. "Where have you been?"
There was heartbreak in those ancient eyes. "You told me," He said, "After Berlin. You said to remember this."
River almost laughed, "I didn't mean you had to come back." Though she was glad he did.
The Doctor soniced the cell door open and sat beside her. "America really got to you didn't it?"
She looked down. "How could it not?"
"It was you then." He said. "The little girl."
River nodded, not meeting his eyes. "Yes. I don't remember much though. The Silence."
"What do you remember?"
"Just bits and pieces." She replied. "Nothing very coherent. Noises, flashes of images. The spacesuit, the streets. Running away."
She nodded again. "A little. It's more like I remember a story, not a memory. Not something that happened to me. All I can remember is... that it hurt."
The Doctor nodded, wrapping a comforting arm around her. "It always does. In the old days, on Gallifrey, some Time Lords would choose to die rather than regenerate." Now he understood why she wanted him here now. Since Berlin he'd been thinking about her differently. River wasn't as much of a mystery any more, but that didn't make her in any way less alluring. He wasn't the last any more, and this Time Lord wasn't going to try to end the universe. At least he hoped not.
River sighed and leaned into the embrace. The Doctor had always wondered why, before he knew who she was, there was such a veil between them. They rarely touched, even a hug after saving the day was almost unheard of. Feeling the twin hearts beating in her chest now, he understood.
"I think I always knew, deep down." He said.
She frowned. "What?"
"That you were Time Lord. It just... it makes sense. You were always different."
River smiled lightly, "I'm going to take that as a compliment."
The Doctor chuckled, "It is a compliment."
There was a pause before she asked, "What do you mean I was different?"
He smiled. "Well, among other things... you kept up. You worked things out almost as quickly as I did."
"Faster than you sometimes." She couldn't resist.
The Doctor grinned and poked her lightly on the nose. "Spoilers."
They both laughed. "What else?" River asked.
"Uh, let's see... Oh, flying the TARDIS of course, that should have been a big clue."
The Time Lady looked surprised, "Other species can fly the TARDIS can't they?"
The Doctor inclined his head in agreement. "Yes, they can, but not as well as you. I'm still better though." He said to protect his pride.
River laughed. "Of course dear."
He scowled at her for a moment before realising, "Oh, and of course, your unstoppable ability to get into trouble."
She smirked, not the least bit put out, "What can I say? I learned from the best."
They laughed lightly and the Doctor glanced away for a moment, almost shyly. He had lied a little bit; not all of what he had said marked River as a Time Lady, but it did contribute to how he thought of her.
River rested her head on his shoulder, her hair lightly tickling his neck. "I'm glad you came." She mumbled.
The Doctor smiled. "So am I."
They sat in silence for a while, enjoying being in each others company without some homicidal alien menace to deal with. It was nice, though neither would admit it. It was far too domestic.
"I meant to say," Said the Doctor, pulling away slightly so he could turn to face the archaeologist, "There's an important rule you still need to learn."
River's eyes were blank. She couldn't see where he was going with this. "What?"
He smiled fondly. "Rule 8. Don't assume anything is happening for the last time." With that he kissed her, wrapping one hand around the back of her neck to deepen it.
River jumped at the unexpected move but quickly overcame her surprise, responding to the kiss, marvelling at how the Doctor, that impossible man, would never cease to surprise her.
They broke the kiss reluctantly, but well after both of them had had to fall back on their respiratory bypass. "I love you." Whispered River.
He smiled, "I love you too. Don't forget that."
"You will." She said, not meaning to.
"So will you." Responded the Doctor, cupping her face with one hand, "The last time I saw you you tried to shoot me three times, tried to stab me once, poisoned me, shot the TARDIS, and insulted my choice of sonic apparel." He made it sound as if the last was the most grievous.
He achieved his goal with the last comment, causing River to laugh a little, "I'm ever so sorry for that." She sarcastically remarked.
The Doctor smiled and kissed her again. They were made for each other really, both so rebellious that they would fall in love with the one person that they should never have. The man River was trained to kill. The daughter of the Doctor's best friends. A partner with whom they were never linear. Oh, who cares? They thought simultaneously. Forbidden fruit was so much sweeter.
"Where are mum and dad?" Asked River after they broke the kiss, struck with sudden curiosity.
The Doctor nodded to the cell door, "In the TARDIS." When she looked confused he elaborated, "The shell's on invisible again. They can't see us." He whispered.
River quirked an eyebrow. She knew those two. They were her parents and two of her best friends. They had seen her get the scanner working before. She was willing to bet that between the girl who waited and the last centurion they would have done it too. "You know how when we were all kids Amy made those toys of you?" She asked, repressing laughter.
The Doctor frowned at the turn in conversation. "Yes?" He half said, half asked.
"Well," Now she gave a laugh, "When we were teenagers, she got this more... grown up toy, and-"
River was rudely interrupted by a loud shriek and her mother sprinting from a door in nowhere. "Shut up!" She cried, clasping one hand over River's mouth.
River released herself from Amy's grip, doubling over with laughter.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow at Amy, whose face was bright red, "Spying, Pond?" He asked.
She spluttered for a moment, "It was Rory's idea!"
"Oh sure," Rory said, emerging from the TARDIS, "Blame me."
River chuckled, getting herself under control, "That's what you're for, dad."
That got a laugh out of all of them and River rose to embrace her parents. "I've missed you." She said, "A you who knows who I am I mean."
They smiled and returned the hug, "We've missed you too." Said Rory.
"A you that's not homicidal." Said Amy teasingly.
"Who says I'm not?" Grinned River.
They laughed again and continued talking into the dark and stormy night. River's diary lay forgotten on her pillow, her mind far from the events that had occurred that day.
Unseen by any of them a single guard snuck away from cell 46. "All clear down here." He said. Many guards resented River Song for making them look like fools, escaping so much. He was grateful that she always came back, and in good enough time that there was never a report filed. The only thing hurt by her frequent excursions was their dignity.
He had been a guard of cell 46 for a long time, relatively speaking. He had seen her sleep. Heard her cry out in the night, seen her tears. He knew Doctor Song's crime, but he didn't think she had done it willingly. He knew she regretted it.
She had screamed apologies in her sleep every other night.
She never did again.
a.n. I have a French test today. Say nice things :P